Article: Genie Gertz: a new vision for the center - Deaf Studies Division in the News

Gertz: a new vision for the center

By Nicole Johnson, Staff writer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008—Reprinted from Monitor.

Genie Gertz in front of sign for Ohlone College Deaf Center. Genie Gertz is the new Dean of the Deaf Studies Division and Special Services. She hopes to contribute to the deaf community. —Staff photo.

There is a new Dean of the Deaf Studies Division and Special Services. Dr. Genie Gertz began work on Sept. 2. During her first week at Ohlone College, she “already feels welcome by the warm community and is getting a sense of family from the staff and students. It’s a nice feeling,” Gertz said. One of the things she likes about Ohlone is how accommodating people are. She was attracted to Ohlone because she comes from “a strong cultural background and Ohlone greatly supports that, especially with its motto a world of culture united in learning. What better place than here.”

Dr. Gertz had many different roles before becoming Dean. Dr. Gertz worked as a faculty member at California State University Northridge (CSUN) for 13 years. She started as a full-time counselor for the National Center on Deafness. A year later, she became a full-time lecturer in the Deaf Studies Department where she taught American Sign Language and Deaf Studies courses. In 2003, Dr. Gertz was appointed as Assistant Professor in the Deaf Studies Department. Everything she did at and prior to CSUN helped prepare her for working at Ohlone. The door opened for her to become Dean and this was her chance to do more for the Deaf community. “I have a vision for the Center,” Gertz said. Her vision is to better support Deaf students and to also “continue supporting this Center and bring it to newer heights. Our center has been a recognized ‘landmark’ for many people, so we ought to not stop making it better with new opportunities.”

Dr. Gertz said, “that there is a large Deaf community with which Ohlone has always had a good relationship.” As Dean, she wants to further advance the Deaf community by contributing to it. Her goal is for the Deaf community to “move up in administrative positions, because as people, [they] are capable of doing it.”

Gertz was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. She grew up in New York City, but for the past 13 years, has been living in Los Angeles. Gertz is married to Patrick Boudreault. Her hobbies include reading, learning new information, art, theatre and traveling. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management in Higher Education from New York University, and earned a Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Comparative Education with a focus on Cultural, Racial and Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gertz has also organized social, educational, and cultural programs to promote interactions between Deaf Studies majors and members of the Greater Los Angeles Deaf community. A major example of this would be the annual major Deaf cultural event, Los Angeles Deafestival, for which she has been a program coordinator since 1996.

For more information you can visit: www.ohlone.edu/instr/deafstudies/.